Huang Xiaoming on VOICE (开讲啦), a lecture-style talk show that invites well-known people to share their life story, respond to audience questions, etc.
Xiaoming shares about his early career, his bout of clinical depression, that whole 2008 Olympics fiasco, his many car and filming accidents, and the reason he’s always such a hard worker. You can watch the entire episode (in 240p, unfortunately) on its official YouTube channel.
Full recap behind the cut:
Xiaoming brings fresh roses for some of the audience members because he wants to thank the fans who have traveled very far to attend the event and support him.
VOICE has been asking him to appear on this show for two years, but he’s always rejected their offer because he doesn’t think of himself as an eloquent speaker.
When he started studying at the Beijing Film Academy, he met the first love of his life, Vicki Zhao Wei. (The whole audience knew who it was without him saying her name.) However, she rejected him because he was too fat (about 75 kg at the time) and too unsophisticated. Because of her rejection, he decided that he would become a successful man who could gain the love of the woman he loved.
Xiaoming’s family was against him joining the entertainment industry.
About halfway through filming SHANGHAI BUND, during which he had to smoke two to three packs of cigarettes each day, Xiaoming discovered that he was clinically depressed. He had difficulty breathing, and when he filmed indoor scenes, he felt like he was about to fall apart. Luckily, his mother was there to take care of him, though this emotional downturn continued until 2008.
That was the year of the Summer Olympics in Beijing, where Xiaoming was recruited to sing the theme song “One World One Dream,” which was originally meant for Sun Nan (who is known for singing at a higher pitch). Although Xiaoming asked if the key could be changed to a lower one, doing so was deemed not possible, and he was subsequently ridiculed for his terrible English pronunciation of “not at all.”
For two years after that, he was afraid of going outside because he thought everyone was laughing at him. He jokes now that that’s when he developed his good physique, because the only places he went then were his home and the gym.
Xiaoming had suicidal thoughts at the time, but he was living with his parents at the time, and they showered him with love. He also knew that he had many fans who liked him, and he didn’t want to let any of them down.
Around then, director Peter Chan came to find him for AMERICAN DREAMS IN CHINA. Originally, Xiaoming was to play Deng Chao’s role (a more handsome character), but Xiaoming insisted on playing the unsophisticated, country bumpkin role.
Xiaoming identifies a lot with one of the lines in the movie, which is about how sometimes people work hard not to gain success but to gain dignity.
He knows that he doesn’t have natural acting skills, so he wants to make up for it by working extra hard. That’s why he’s willing to go so far, such as not sleeping for six days when filming RETURN OF THE CONDOR HEROES, or returning to film LONG PIAO even after injuring his neck in a car accident, or insisting on re-filming a wire-fu scene in THE WHITE-HAIRED WITCH OF LUNAR KINGDOM (which later led to his falling off the wire and being hospitalized).
However, he doesn’t encourage others to follow his example, because now that he’s older, he realizes how much damage he’s put his body through.
Xiaoming’s original dream was to win a Best Actor Oscar and represent the Chinese population at the Academy Awards, but he no longer has that self-confidence.
When asked what about Angelababy attracts him, Xiaoming said that she’s smart, mature, considerate, loves to eat, and is very sincere towards others. She’s also financially responsible for her little brother.
Cool quote: “You don’t have to be smart, but you have to work hard and be sincere.”
Huang Xiaoming and Yang Mi on the cover of SOUTHERN METROPOLIS ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY (南都娱乐周刊). I feel like the image would look better if they were actually, you know, looking at each other, but oh well.
In the 16 years since his debut, “China’s number-one heartthrob” Huang Xiaoming has faced many controversies, from his not being taller than 170cm to his English being criticized and ridiculed. Now, he has taken on the title of “emperor of self-deprecation” and will joke around with netizens; his acting has received recognition, he’s had some minor success with his investments, and his happiness in his relationship with Angelababy is off the charts. And after portraying many “overbearing boss” roles, he is all the more confident.
In the morning, Huang Xiaoming and his delegation arrive at a film studio in the east to film NetEase Fashion’s “Male God Plan.” If he is working in Beijing, Huang Xiaoming will typically drive his own car to work.
Huang Xiaoming arrives, dressed all in black and with no make-up on. Upon seeing the camera, he wittily flashes a V sign. These days, Huang Xiaoming has been busy promoting his movie YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE, in which he is not only the star actor, but a producer and executive producer as well. Moreover, his long-time manager, Huang Bin, is one of the film’s directors. When asked why he wanted to film a movie version of the story, Huang Xiaoming said, “First off, this is a very good novel. Secondly, Huang Bin wanted to be a director, and I wanted to support him in realizing his dreams. I attach much importance to relationships, which is something I cannot change about myself, so I’m very willing to help friends.”
At this point, Huang Xiaoming also clarifies in passing the recent news that he was picking up women at a nightclub. “They said I was at a nightclub, but in reality, a friend had booked a private karaoke room for a birthday party. At first, I thought I would show up to cheer my friend on, but it turns out 80% of the people there, I didn’t know. They took a bunch of photographs, and I knew, Oh no, they’ll definitely be sent out. And they were sent out.”
“But there was nothing I could do, because I was surrounded by my good friends. You saw the people in the photos – Su Hong, Liu Yun, etc. There was even the child’s mother. The news really can be frightening sometimes, but when you’re thinking of your friend, it’s hard to avoid these things. If I hadn’t done this, people might have thought that Huang Xiaoming is very mysterious or something, and it would be hard to explain things with my friend, so in the end I chose my friend.”
In regards to these things, Huang Xiaoming actually does not take them to heart. “Although I attend these occasions, in my heart I hope that people don’t take pictures, because everyone has their own privacy. It’s just like when you go outside, you don’t want people taking pictures of you constantly. You definitely wouldn’t like that, and I don’t either. Of course, I respect everyone’s freedom and power, since I’m a public figure and should bear everyone’s comments.”
Because the filming later requires him to take off his shirt and show off his physique, Huang Xiaoming began doing push-ups. Under normal circumstances, Huang Xiaoming needs to work out for at least half an hour each day, but because he’s been so busy lately and flying to different cities each day, he has hardly worked out this month. “I work out a lot. It could be that I massage my chest a lot, so my chest protrudes a little more. Working out is something to take pride in.”
Huang Xiaoming opens up his jacket, showing off his well-built pectoral muscles and displaying his super-manly side. All of the workers on set let out sounds of admiration. It could be that he’s used to these types of scenes, because Huang Xiaoming does not exude any embarrassment. In contrast, he’s very generous, showing off his physique with no hint of stinginess.
After filming is completed, Huang Xiaoming eats a simple meal in the make-up room. In order to attain a good physique, there are certain demands in diet in addition to maintaining a workout regime. “Right now, I eat only chicken and fish. Vegetables and fruit are necessary, as is skim-milk yogurt. These are all basic foods, and all without oil and salt. Even when I eat salad, I have to confiscate the salad dressing. My personal assistant is very strict in managing this; I can’t even eat one extra bite.”
Actually, Huang Xiaoming is a foodie in private. His happiest time was when he was filming AMERICAN DREAMS IN CHINA, because the role required him to gain weight and allowed him to indulge himself a bit. But good things don’t last forever, and that filming block ended, so he returned to the “light” diet. Because he’s recently had to run around to many events and he hasn’t had time to work out, Huang Xiaoming has eaten a little more and gotten a little fatter. His workers laugh and call this “pressure fat.”
Although he possesses an envious physique and muscles, there are some roles that make people feel like he looks “too strong.” Huang Xiaoming’s attention is not fixed on this; in fact, he was always worried that he wouldn’t be able to build up any abdominal muscles. “The hardest part to build up is the abs. I practiced a long time, and my trainer said I had to do 200 sit-ups every day. I did that for many months before I got anything. I’m still striving for that.”
When we saw Huang Xiaoming the other day, it was at a press conference for YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE. All of the main cast was there, apart from Yang Mi. In the movie, Huang Xiaoming and girlfriend Angelababy play brother and sister, leading to much discussion online – “I hope that all lovers eventually become brother and sister.” Huang Xiaoming stated that because they could not find a suitable candidate three days before filming was to begin, he allowed Angelababy to sacrifice her rest time to play the part. “She got sick the first day of filming and felt very unwell. I wanted to make her feel better; I really felt sorry for her.”
At the end of the press conference, a strong-looking man who was over 190 cm tall suddenly and excited asked for a photo together. None of the workers were quick enough to stop him. Huang Xiaoming and Angelababy were very accommodating, though they both looked very petite from this camera angle.
When you’re with Huang Xiaoming and his girlfriend, you will sense their happiness at all times. Huang Xiaoming laughed and said that Angelababy forced him to wear this couple‘s outfit. Previously, he would avoid talking about his love life, but now he has generously gone public. Huang Xiaoming admitted, “At first, I didn’t want to make things public, and it actually didn’t matter to her. I didn’t want to go public because I was afraid that rumors about us would interfere with her career. A girl still needs to have a future and a career, but later, she became more and more successful, and I felt that it didn’t matter anymore if people found out.”
During the interview, Angelababy could barely hide her happiness and revealed that at home, Huang Xiaoming will also force her against a wall (look up “kabe-don” if you don’t know this trend, or just refer to the picture). “Do you know why he does this? When we’re at home, he will often be suddenly overcome by some character. I’m always at risk of eating something…” At this point, reporters urged them to re-enact this on stage.
Huang Xiaoming often plays “tyrannical boss” type roles, and although he states that he himself is very tyrannical, he is actually a very considerate boyfriend in real life. “In relationships, I am more tyrannical. I hope that I can make a lot of money and make my love and family happy. I hope that they can gain a lot of things from me and that they’re happy and not worried about anything. I let them use my credit card however they want. I’m more likely to become jealous, but I will show it instead of hiding it inside.”
“I feel that I really am quite similar to He Yichen [his role in YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE]. In fact, He Yichen is a bit of a male chauvinist, since he wants his woman to belong to him and only him, and he gives everything to her. I’m also like this, because I also have a lot of pressure from the things I take on, but I will not take it out on Angelababy, since I feel that that would be unfair. I can only vent it out on my work.”
“I am very willing to take on responsibilities. Even when there’s nothing to take on, I will find something, so my dad and mom live with me. In the future, my parents, my wife, and my child will all live together. If my wife gets pregnant, I will definitely be the one to undertake the heavy responsibility of making money to support us. I feel that men have to take on many things, but I feel that we take pleasure in that. When you see your woman spending your own money, you will actually feel happiness. But right now, she is very strong, extremely strong already. I am very happy.”
“I look forward to buying different things for Angelababy, but sometimes she doesn’t want them. You can ask her – beforehand, I asked her, Hey, do you want this bag? Do you want that bag? She said no, she doesn’t have very strong feelings towards those things. She has what she needs. Right now, we actually both want to do some things for charity, like visiting the elderly and children. I feel like this is what our next goal should be.”
Recently, there has been news saying that Huang Xiaoming is planning to spend 50 million RMB to book an island for his wedding ceremony and has already had a six-karat diamond ring made to order. In response to this, Huang Xiaoming said, “Those are all their wishful thinking. I feel that it would be better to donate 50 million RMB to an elderly person living alone. There is no need to waste that money. We will largely go to a few places, and maybe people will even sponsor something. We can even save money this way.”
The hotel where the press conference is located is famous for its cakes. A hotel employee brought one out especially for Huang Xiaoming to try. His assistant allowed him to try one bite. Because the cake had many flavors, Huang Xiaoming hesitated for a long time before deciding on what bite to take. He even coquettishly asked his assistant, “Can I have another bite?” His assistant put on an iron face and rejected his request, later giving the leftover cake to the other workers to share. The media laughingly said, “In Huang Xiaoming’s team, the objective is that the boss eats vegetables, while the workers eat meat. The workers eat cake while the boss watches them.”
Huang Xiaoming’s manager Huang Bin and a veteran entertainment reporter enters, and the three of them begin chatting. “Did you know? Because Huang Bin calls himself First Brother, I have no choice but to become Second Brother, even though I am obviously the boss!” Huang Xiaoming pokes fun at Huang Bin’s brand, while Huang Bin says that Huang Xiaoming is dressed like he is going to a wedding. They often ridicule each other, which is how you sense their deep friendship.
“I am very thankful to Angelababy, truly. I feel that in the six years that I’ve known her, she’s changed many things about me. I used to care a lot about what netizens said, but later Baby told me that even though she is very young, she has gone through many rumors and slanders. When I met her, my own attitude slowly began to change. I feel that after being with her, I’ve become more open-minded and youthful.”
After all the announcements had finished, his fans lined up in order to take photos with him. Huang Xiaoming greeted every single one. Before leaving, we asked him how he balanced out his positions as actor and investor. He replied, “I actually like doing business a lot. That’s right, I like acting and I like doing business. But currently, I like acting more. I will still focus mainly on acting. As for investments, I will let my staff sort that out.”
Huang Xiaoming joins girlfriend Angelababy on Season 2 of HURRY UP, BROTHER (奔跑吧兄弟), also known as the Chinese version of RUNNING MAN. I haven’t had time to watch the whole video, just the first few minutes in which Xiaoming makes a badass MISSION IMPOSSIBLE helicopter entrance.